[Interview] Ivy Mode

Ivy Mode is a 21 year old Belgian artist from the Philippines. She recently revealed her first indie-pop single, Money Can’t Buy. She was a contestant on The Voice in her country in 2013 where she finished 8th at only 18. Today she is supported by the Belgian radio MNM and has amassed a large following with 20 000 views on Facebook just for her cover of Red Hot Chilli Peppers‘ Californication.

Inspired by Banks, Chet Faker (now Nick Murphy) and James Blake, she loves to get out of the ordinary. With her producer, James Lowland, she wrote Money Can’t Buy, a single that mixes her warm voice with the freshness of electronic sounds.

« Money Can’t Buy, she says, is about giving priority to her career and sacrificing a serious relationship, but finally regretting it. But regrets come too late, long after realizing that you’ve missed your chance. This leaves you feeling empty because you realize you’d have preferred sharing your success with the person you love ». Deep in the creation of her repertoire, Ivy Mode will release Money Can’t Buy on all platforms on November 17th.

What is your background and what were you doing before you got into music?

Well before starting music there wasn’t really anything else ; I was passionate about except singing. I wasn’t really a sportive type and from a young age I always dreamt of becoming a singer. But the only thing I focused on, even up to this day is school.

What was your first introduction to music?

A while ago a friend of mine told me about a producer he had been working with. He asked me to come with him to the studio one day, because he wanted to introduce me to this producer. One thing lead to another. So what should’ve been a short collaboration, turned into a longterm collaboration, which turned into Ivy Mode.

Could you describe your music in a few words?

The best way to describe my music is indie electronic music with a darker touch to it.

What is the role of music in your life?
Music means a lot to me. It’s an escape from reality. My day isn’t complete without loudly listening to music through my headphones while I’m on my way to school or work. Sometimes music even helps me in processing certain thoughts or emotions. This happens when I can really relate to a song as if the song was written for me. I’ve had this feeling for example when I went through a bad breakup. Music really helped me through this. I remember I would just lay in bed and listen to emotional breakup songs.

In which neighborhoods of Brussels do you feel the most at home and why?

Well I am from Antwerp and haven’t been to Brussels a lot, but when I visit Brussels it’s almost only the centre of Brussels I go to. But I must say that I love Brussels a lot. I love how big and international the city feels like. I often have the feeling I’m not in Belgium anymore.

What kind of things or places inspire you to make music?

The things that inspire me the most are things that’ve happened to me in an emotional way. Whether it’s a breakup, a fight with your loved one, losing a precious friend or just anger or something else. I feel like emotions fuel my inspiration.


What are your international musical influences and with which artist would you like to collaborate?

I listen to a lot of different genres and artists, but I can say I’m influenced most by artists like BanksJustin VernonJames Blake, etc. I’d love to work with Justin Vernon. I think he is a mastermind when it comes to making music: ever heard anyone say Bon Iver sucks? Nope right?

Which Belgian artists you are currently following?

Delv!s, Tsar B, Bazart, Oscar and the Wolf and Alice on the Roof

For which activity do you put your cellphone on « airplane mode »?

When I’m at school or at the movies, but I’m pretty sure a lot of people put their phones on airplane mode in these situations, right? I also put my phone on airplane mode when I’m with family or my boyfriend and just don’t want to be bothered. A lot of people forget to do this and I think it’s a shame. When you’re with your loved ones, you need to focus on having a great time with them. I get really frustrated when I’m having a deep conversation with someone and they keep on checking their phones anytime they get a notification…